Streeters April 7th, 2014

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TODAY’S STREETER: Local Stores vs. Chains in Leaside

We asked along Laird Drive and at Leaside Village: “Are you concerned about the trend of local shops being replaced by chain stores?”

Mal Bariali, business analyst
“No … I don’t see the concern … I’m not sure what the issue is … It doesn’t really bother me, to be honest with you.”

Michael Columbres, continuing education student
“I am very much concerned because they take away jobs from local investors … With only a few players in each market, companies like Loblaws and Shopper’s [Drug Mart] can force suppliers to keep their prices down because they have a monopoly … And if you are an employee you should be concerned because they can always replace you … They can even outsource it.”

Shirley Meow, creative services
“I would say the main thing that concerns me is getting value for my dollar, regardless of where I’m buying the product, and the quality of the product as well … As far as a coffee shop goes, I think that I haven’t seen any privately owned coffee shops that offer the same level of quality as Starbucks.”

Matloob Warriach, small business owner
“A businessman with a bakery or butcher shop from our community knows the community and the community knows him. He has ties with the community and the community has ties with him. He gives to the community and the community gives to him. Chain stores have no ties with the community, they don’t give back. There are no mid-level jobs with this system like small business … it makes some people too rich, and makes too many people too poor.”

Michael Young, independent computer consultant
“Yes and no. I think that chain stores have a role, and the locally owned stores come and go as opportunities provide themselves. So I’m not concerned they’re going to get blown out, because traffic generates traffic … There’s 10 times the traffic now than there was here for small stores 15 years ago.”

Sydney Vanderland, barista
“I don’t think it’s a good thing, especially in this type of an area … It’s shifting out all the small businesses, becoming more commercial — which it always was along Laird, but small-business commercial, whereas now it’s chains … We lose the uniqueness of Leaside.”